Thursday, March 21, 2013

Am I crazy? Well I want to be a Los Angeles Police Officer, don't I?

Before you can come on the job, you have to take a psychological battery followed by a psychological interview. One of them was the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. One of it's initial primary goals when it was formed in the 1930's was to test for latent homosexuality. The battery is the MMPI plus one or two other multiple choice tests, totaling more than 1700 questions and answers that you must bubble in with a #2 pencil. It'll take you around two and a half to three and a half hours. If you're not anxious, mentally exhausted and possibly a little crazy before this, you will be after.

Once you're done with this, a few days later your results get distilled and processed and a City Psychologist looks over your answers and then you have a sit-down, face to face interview to flesh out any possible ambiguities or questions brought out by the battery of tests. For around the past twenty years or so, you could either get the male City Psychologist, who was odd in that he had a goofy poem printed out using Printshop on the front of his desk about handshakes.

I won't shake your hand, because you may have a cold, or I may have a cold. I mean no disrespect I just don't want to spread sickness.

This person is the gatekeeper between me and a badge and a gun. The other City Psychologist was a woman who was so germ phobic that she would only open the drawers on her desk with antibacterial wipes. I guess like it takes a wolf to catch a wolf, it takes a little crazy to catch crazy. I drew the male City Psychologist. Things were going fine, it seemed like a normal enough interview (not counting having to stare at the Printshop evidence that he's at least a little coo coo) when everything stopped and I got asked the oddest question. "So you were an intern at the American Enterprise Institute? They employ an awful lot of libertarians. Are you a libertarian?" I was and still am an avid Hayek reader, admirer of Nat Hentoff, Ayn Rand and Lord Acton and had while in college I attended summer seminars put on by various liberty oriented groups. I answered, "Yes." I then got a truly odd question, "Are you one of those libertarians who thinks we should have no government?"

What the -- !?

I wanted to say, "Well OBVIOUSLY NOT if I'm HERE applying my ass off to get a job with the City of LA. Only the most radical of anarcho-capitalists don't believe we should not have any police. Nothing in my answers or background indicate I am such an anarchist." Instead I offered, "No." He then took it from there talking about how he frequently listened to Larry Elder who is a black libertarian who broadcasts out of LA, and that he respects him for how smart and polished he is, but frequently disagrees and almost calls in and almost writes emails but has more important things to do. Like compose poems about not handshaking apparently. Classical Liberalism, and libertarianism means small, limited government. I love catching bad guys who commit violent crime and steal shit - clearly even Lysander Spooner would approve of the local government being so empowered to prevent and investigate crime via a police force. I always ask my staunchly libertarian friends, "Think about it, would you rather deal with a copper like me who understands limited government, freedom, liberty, individual rights and the constitution or would you rather have a badge heavy progressive / totalitarian who sees the constitution as an obstacle to work around?"

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